HomeCrypto NewsMarketSEC v. Ripple: SEC Submits 10 Documents to Support Its Attorney-Client Claim Over William Hinman’s Speech

SEC v. Ripple: SEC Submits 10 Documents to Support Its Attorney-Client Claim Over William Hinman’s Speech


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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) submitted for in-camera review the 10 exemplar documents requested by the court earlier this week. 

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According to the SEC, the documents will support its motion asserting that the internal documents related to the 2018 speech made by William Hinman, the former Director of the agency’s Corporation Finance are protected by attorney-client privilege.

Details of the Submitted Documents

The 10 exemplar documents are grouped into three categories for the court’s convenience. Explaining the details of the categorized documents, the SEC noted that the first category of documents contains draft emails from David Fredrickson, the former Chief Counsel at the agency’s Corporation of Finance, where he discussed the necessary legal issues of the speech.

The second category of exemplar documents contain a June 11, 2018 email from Michael Seaman, Hinman’s counsel, that was sent to Hinman, Fredrickson and Valerie Szczepanik, former Senior Advisor for Digital Assets of the SEC’s Corporation of Finance.

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Notably, the email from Seaman contained a draft of the speech, which prompted Hinman to seek legal advice from his colleagues, including legal staff of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, Trading and Markets, among others.

The Securities and Exchange Commission noted that the third category of exemplar documents includes a draft of the mail Hinman received from Seaman on June 11, 2018, which was sent by the former Director of Corporation Finance to attorneys in different SEC departments.

“To facilitate the Court’s review, enclosed is a revised Attachment 1 with the documents the SEC is now submitting for in camera review,” the SEC concludes, adding a list of privileged logs related to Hinman’s speech.

Hinman’s 2018 Speech

Meanwhile, the June 14, 2018 speech made by Hinman has become an integral part of the ongoing lawsuit between Ripple and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The speech referred to as “Ethereum Free Pass” by many is considered by Ripple and Individual Defendants as an imperative tool to dismiss the argument that its cryptocurrency offering breached U.S. security laws.

SEC’s Quest to Protect Hinman’s Documents

However, all efforts made by the blockchain company to have the SEC surrender the documents that resulted in the formulation of the speech have not yielded positive results.

The SEC has been bent on protecting Hinman’s document despite being ordered on two occasions to surrender them.

In a renewed assertion, the SEC claimed that the document is protected by attorney-client privilege.

According to the SEC, Hinman discussed the legal implications of the speech before it was made public, a move that was condemned by Ripple.

With both parties in disagreement over the SEC’s attorney-client privilege claim for the document, Judge Sarah Netburn invited the parties to a conference to discuss all issues related to the document.

Unfortunately, no decision was made, as the conference was adjourned to a later date. Interestingly, the Ripple community is enthusiastic that the court may likely compel the SEC to surrender the documents to Ripple.

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Ammara Mubin is a cryptocurrency reporter and trader with vast experience in the industry. Mubin has written several news stories related to the crypto industry, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi), fundraising, mining, etc. Her major focus is covering regulatory events that are capable of shaping the entire crypto ecosystem.

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